Graduate Colloquium: "Beyond the Crimson Lily: The Founding of Florence in Medieval Political Propaganda"

Tuesday, March 19, 2013 - 9:30am
Urban Studies Office, McNeil Building Room 130


Please join us for the next Urban Studies Graduate Student colloquium, with coffee, croissants and conversation on Tuesday March 19, 9:30-11am, in the Urban Studies Office, McNeil Building Room 130. The series provides a way for graduate students who are or have been a part of the Urban Studies Certificate program to come together to share their work.

Author: Chelsea Pomponio, Italian Studies

Discussant: Professor Raffaella Fabiani Giannetto, Landscape Architecture


From the thirteenth century well into the Renaissance, the legend of Florence’s origins played a pivotal role in the negotiation of Florentine identity. The chroniclers of the early thirteenth century situated Florence within a genealogy of cities that included Fiesole, Troy, and Rome. Their juxtaposition of the ancient Roman virtues of Florence and the rustic mores of Fiesole served as political propaganda reflecting the concerns of the nascent Florentine commune.

Tracing the development of the legend from its earliest expression in the anonymous Latin Chronica de origine civitatis Florentiae (ca. 1205) to its variants in the French and Italian works of Brunetto Latini (ca. 1220-1294), this presentation highlights the versatility of the legend in medieval political rhetoric. Consideration of the shifting social and economic landscape of Florence reveals how medieval authors continually adapted the legend to suit their unique understanding of Florentine identity.